Book Review: Revelations by J.A. Souders

Revelations by J.A. Souders

  • Method of Obtaining: My copy was provided by the publisher.
  • Published by:  TorTeen
  • Release Date:  11.05.2013

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

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My Review:

I received Revelations recently from Tor and was immediately drawn to reading the synopsis based on the cover.  It’s colorful, interesting, and I was really hoping that it was the first book of the series.  It wasn’t.  SO then I thought, maybe I’ll try to jump in – but let me tell you, what I read from the first book had me desperately wanting to get my hands on it.  So I did.  I dove into Renegade that night and, upon finishing it, immediately moved on to Revelations.

I loved Renegade, folks.  It was filled with brainwashing and utopias (or not), and mad escapes, and thrilling moments.  It made me want to walk around my house reading.  I was reminded of what it was like to be reading a really fun, engrossing young adult novel.  I loved it.  So I went into Revelations thinking that would continue.  And, while I might have enjoyed Revelations more had I not read Renegade first (although I would have been seriously lost in the story), I just thought it fell flat of the first book.  Let me explain why.

First – the action. It’s too fast paced.  Too much ground is covered and too much information revealed for just one book in this series.  I cannot be expected to believe in the scaryness and vastness of the world Souders has created if it can be covered in just a few pages.  Furthermore, I cannot be convinced of scary, deadly creatures if they are easily outrun or survived.

Secondly, don’t force a romance issue – even if it’s just to instill a sense of tension and doesn’t really exist.  Not only did the romance between Evie and Gavin feel forced and unnatural (she doesn’t remember anything but somehow manages to be just as in love with him?), but the idea of someone else falling for Evie and barely knowing her just doesn’t work.

I felt like Souders had a great idea with this series and that Renegade was plotted well, but that she just bit off more than she could chew with the follow-up.  Quite a few things could have been removed to make the story more cohesive, but instead – I felt like I got a case of bookish whiplash from all the back and forth traveling in Revelations.

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